Navigation Links
Coral can recover from climate change damage
Date:1/10/2010

A study by the University of Exeter provides the first evidence that coral reefs can recover from the devastating effects of climate change. Published Monday 11 January in the journal PLOS One, the research shows for the first time that coral reefs located in marine reserves can recover from the impacts of global warming.

Scientists and environmentalists have warned that coral reefs may not be able to recover from the damage caused by climate change and that these unique environments could soon be lost forever. Now, this research adds weight to the argument that reducing levels of fishing is a viable way of protecting the world's most delicate aquatic ecosystems.

Increases in ocean surface water temperatures subject coral reefs to stresses that lead quickly to mass bleaching. The problem is intensified by ocean acidification, which is also caused by increased CO2. This decreases the ability of corals to produce calcium carbonate (chalk), which is the material that reefs are made of.

Approximately 2% of the world's coral reefs are located within marine reserves, areas of the sea that are protected against potentially-damaging human activity, like dredging and fishing.

The researchers conducted surveys of ten sites inside and outside marine reserves of the Bahamas over 2.5 years. These reefs have been severely damaged by bleaching and then by hurricane Frances in the summer of 2004. At the beginning of the study, the reefs had an average of 7% coral cover. By the end of the project, coral cover in marine protected areas had increased by an average of 19%, while reefs in non-reserve sites showed no recovery.

Professor Peter Mumby of the University of Exeter said: "Coral reefs are the largest living structures on Earth and are home to the highest biodiversity on the planet. As a result of climate change, the environment that has enabled coral reefs to thrive for hundreds of thousands of years is changing too quickly for reefs to adapt.

"In order to protect reefs in the long-term we need radical action to reduce CO2 emissions. However, our research shows that local action to reduce the effects of fishing can contribute meaningfully to the fate of reefs. The reserve allowed the number of parrotfishes to increase and because parrotfish eat seaweeds, the corals could grow freely without being swamped by weeds. As a result, reefs inside the park were showing recovery whereas those with more seaweed were not. This sort of evidence may help persuade governments to reduce the fishing of key herbivores like parrotfishes and help reefs cope with the inevitable threats posed by climate change".


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Hoyle
pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk
44-279-894-46020
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of the Jekyll-and-Hyde factors in coral bleaching
2. Sponges recycle carbon to give life to coral reefs
3. The white stuff: Marine lab team seeks to understand coral bleaching
4. What are coral reef services worth? $130,000 to $1.2 million per hectare, per year: experts
5. What are coral reef services worth? $130,000 to $1.2 million / ht / yr: Experts
6. Coral bleaching increases chances of coral disease
7. Scripps-led study shows ocean health plays vital role in coral reef recovery
8. Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago
9. Nursery programs for corals receive TLC from NOAA this Independence Day
10. Corals stay close to home
11. Coral face a stormy future
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/4/2016)... The field of Human Microbiome research ... popular hubs of the biotechnology industry. While the ... of human microbiota, have garnered a lot of ... space has literally exploded in terms of both ... focuses on biomedical aspects of research, development, and ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016 ... of the "Emotion Detection and Recognition ... and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice ... Users,and Regions - Global forecast to 2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has announced the ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of ... of the digital and computed radiography markets in ... and Indonesia (TIM). It provides ... size, as well as regional market drivers and restraints. ... market penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Thomas J. Todorow has joined the ... for Corporate Services and the Chief Financial Officer at The Children’s Hospital of ... Managed Care Contracting, Supply Chain, and Investments. , Prior to joining CHOP and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC) (the ... Eugene Seymour , MD, MPH, will present information about the ... Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City . ... in the Windsor Room at 5:30PM EST. Registered attendees can request ... New York City . --> New ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Contact:, Abby Mitchell, Communications Manager, Phone: 703-448-9062 ... Teacher Training Program , Bite of Science Dinner Event to Strengthen Science Teaching ... Education (CEE) will sponsor a Bite of Science professional enrichment session, cost-free, for ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 Australian-US drug discovery and ... today the appointment of a new Chairman, Mr John ... , effective immediately. James Garner , has ... Director and former Acting CEO, Mr Iain Ross , ... Director. --> James Garner , has also been ...
Breaking Biology Technology: